The 2023 Cadillac Lyriq Luxury EV Heralds a New Era for GM

January 4, 2022
Written by: Justin Fischer
2023 cadillac lyriq

The 2023 Cadillac Lyriq makes its debut at the leading edge of GM’s massive $35 billion transition to EVs. After five years of offering the Chevrolet Bolt as their flagship EV, the General is going all-in with EVs. Now, all eyes are on the first three electric models arriving at GM dealerships. The first has just begun deliveries, the $100,000+ GMC Hummer EV. And now, the 2023 Cadillac Lyriq luxury SUV is about to hit the market with much anticipation.

Are Cadillac buyers on board with GM’s electrification plans? Well, it seems they don’t have a choice. By 2030, Cadillac will be an all-EV brand. Other GM brands will follow suit by 2035. In fact, GM already lost dozens of Cadillac dealerships nationwide after it provided an ultimatum requiring dealers to spend about $200,000 on EV training, charger installation and more, or withdraw from the brand altogether and accept a buyout. About one-third of Cadillac dealerships took the buyout, and GM spent a total of $274 million as it paid to have 360 Cadillac dealerships close doors. At the end of 2021, just 560 Cadillac dealerships remain in the business nationwide, down from 920 just three years prior. 

Now that the dealership shuffle has settled, it’s prime time for Cadillac to unveil the first of its EVs. The 2023 Lyriq will be the first to arrive in mid 2022. Here’s what we know about the Lyriq as it nears production. 

The Lyriq Shows That Luxurious EV Interiors Don’t Have to Be Bland

2023 Cadillac Lyriq

For starters, the Lyriq is a true SUV in size and stature. The outside has all the Cadillac design language you’d expect. Walking up to the Lyriq, you’re greeted by a welcome light show put on by the 50 LEDs illuminating the angular front grille. Stepping into the cabin, the first thing you’ll notice is the meticulous detail and labor of love, from the tree canopy inspired door illumination to the well-placed open-pore wood decor throughout. 

2023 Cadillac Lyriq

If you lament the auto industry’s shift away from physical controls in favor of haptic feedback and touchscreens, you’ll be a fan of this interior. The Lyriq strikes the ideal balance of physical buttons and knobs and a healthy serving of touch controls. The 33” horizontal screen wrapping across the front dash may sound like the antithesis of physicality, but the screen and surrounding physical controls complement each other, making for an intuitive experience. The Lyriq’s 33” single screen is surprisingly similar to what you’ll find in the much more expensive Lucid Air, and more well-placed than the single 15” screen centrally located in the Tesla Model Y. A Cadillac-exclusive AKG Studio 19-speaker audio system provides excellent sound for audiophiles. 

The Lyriq Driving Experience

2023 Cadillac Lyriq

The Lyriq’s tech is all-around impressive. Super Cruise is at the heart of Cadillac’s Smart System suite of safety and driver assist features. Super Cruise supports hands-free driving on over 200,000 miles of North American roads. The ‘hands-free’ part is a big deal, as even Tesla isn’t yet ready to make that claim (and with good reason).

A popular feature of EVs is one-pedal driving. Most EVs allow for energy recuperation as the vehicle slows down. This is called regenerative braking. In essence, some of the electricity that was used to accelerate is recovered as the vehicle slows down, and is returned to the battery. But not all EVs are capable of strong enough ‘regen’ to make the brake pedal almost unnecessary, except of course during instances when hard braking is needed. The Lyriq has what looks like paddle shifters behind the steering wheel. These are the controls for regen strength. At the highway setting, the Lyriq will slow to a stop without needing the brake. Using regen on a daily basis takes some getting used to, but as Tesla owners can attest, it ultimately becomes second nature. 

2023 Cadillac Lyriq

The Lyriq’s serene cabin is well-insulated and quiet with active noise cancellation. 8-way power driver and front-passenger seats with 4-way power lumbar, heat, ventilation and lumbar massage are all included with the 2023 Cadillac Lyriq. Rear passengers have access to dual USB-C charging outlets and a three-prong outlet for charging laptops and other larger devices. 

Great Range, Decent Charging

Cadillac claims an expected EPA range of about 300 miles on a charge. Considering the large size of the Lyriq and the rapidly growing charging networks, that’s more than enough for almost everyone. EVs are generally more efficient at lower speeds, so the Lyriq is likely to go well over 300 miles in city driving, and 275 or so on the highway. 

When it comes time to charge, the Lyriq supports 190 kW fast charging at level 3 public chargers, like those you’ll find at Electrify America and Tesla Superchargers (if they ever open up to non-Teslas in America). This works out to about 76 miles of range in 10 minutes, or 200 miles in about 30 minutes. 

At home, a level 2 charger can be installed into a 240 volt outlet like you’d use to plug in a dryer. This is where the Lyriq stands out above the charging competition. The Lyriq supports segment-leading 19.2 kW home charging, which can add up to 52 miles of range per hour of charge, or a full battery from empty in just six hours. To the uninitiated EV shopper, six hours might sound like a long time, but don’t forget that charging is done at night while you’re asleep. Most Lyriq drivers will wake up with a full battery every morning.

GM’s Ultium Platform Sees Action

GM Ultium battery

The 2023 Cadillac Lyriq will be the first time most consumers experience GM’s all-new Ultium electric platform. The 2022 Hummer EV is powered by Ultium, but it’s at a much higher price point that’s out of reach for most. Plus, it’s huge, and not everyone wants to drive a crab-walking boat around. GM’s engineers say that Ultium batteries are reliable, durable and more energy dense than anything we’ve seen before in a production EV. Cadillac claims an estimated EPA range of around 300 miles on a single charge made possible by the Ultium platform’s new chemistry. The public hasn’t forgotten about the ongoing Chevrolet Bolt recall and fire hazard, so it’s comforting to know that all new GM EVs will be built with a completely revamped and improved battery and electric motor architecture. 

The 2023 Cadillac Lyriq is powered by a 12-module, 100 kilowatt-hour Ultium battery pack and a rear-wheel-drive Ultium Platform. This powertrain delivers 340 horsepower and 325 lb-ft of torque. It’s no Tesla, but a performance-oriented Lyriq is rumored to be on the way in 2023. For you speedsters out there, official 0-60 times haven’t been released yet, but considering that it weighs 5,610 pounds (over 1,000 pounds more than a Tesla Model Y!), the 5.0 second range is a likely figure.

How Does the Lyriq Stack Up to the Competition?

2022 Tesla Model Y

The Lyriq Steps Into a Crowded SUV Segment that was essentially nonexistent just five years ago. One thing that may lure shoppers towards the Lyriq is its size. It’s larger than the Volkswagen ID.4, Tesla Model Y and Ford Mustang Mach-E. Thanks to the compact electric motors, the wheelbase is on par with a Hyundai Palisade, even though the interior volume is a bit less at 105 cubic feet. That’s more than the Model Y and VW ID.4, but just a cubic foot less than the much more affordable Hyundai IONIQ 5. Rear passenger leg room is generous at 40”. Everyone seems to offer a panoramic glass roof these days, and the Lyriq is no different. But the glass roof helps head room stretch to 38” for rear passengers.

Cargo volume is solid, even though there’s no frunk (front storage). There’s 28 cubic feet with seats up, and 68 cubic feet with seats laying flat. Even though that’s about the same as the ID.4, Model Y and IONIQ 5 (the Kia EV6 and Ford Mustang Mach-E are significantly less), the Cadillac Lyriq has something that none of the others have: the very essence of luxury. Better comparisons could be made with the Audi e-tron, Tesla Model X, the brand-new BMW iX, and the soon-to-arrive Genesis GV60 and Mercedes EQB. Among these competitors, the Lyriq is likely to remain more affordable.

The 2023 Cadillac Lyriq Starts at $59,990

The base Luxury trim of the Lyriq is nearly loaded as-is. The Luxury comes with 19” aero wheels versus 22” rims for higher trims, but Cadillac hasn’t shared many additional details other than that the base trim features all of the biggest perks. Reviewers who’ve had showroom tours of the Lyriq have been told that the base Lyriq has all of the above. The debut edition starts at right under $59,990, and higher trims are expected to reach well above $70,000. Unfortunately, early-access reservations are now closed. GM recommends getting a hold of a dealer to get on the list for a Lyriq when they arrive on the lot in mid-2022. Does that signal the impending doom of dealer ‘market adjustments’? It’s quite possible. We’ll update this page as Cadillac releases more information about pricing and specs for higher trims.

The Lyriq’s Weaknesses

2023 Cadillac Lyriq

One odd choice on the part of Cadillac is only offering two exterior colors for now: Satin Steel Metallic or Stellar Black Metallic. Interior themes are Sky Cool Gray or Noir (because ‘black’ sounds cooler in French apparently). Also, reservations are closed before it even goes on sale. It would be nice if Cadillac would provide a way for car buyers to get in line for a Lyriq without having to submit to dealer hassles.

For a 2023 model, 190 kW fast charging is merely okay. It’s nothing like the superior charging of the luxury Lucid Air, Hyundai IONIQ 5, Kia EV6 or the Tesla models. But it’s still better than the VW ID.4, Ford Mustang Mach-E and industry-worst Chevrolet Bolt’s 55 kW ‘fast’ charging. Despite these flaws, the 2023 Cadillac Lyriq is all-in-all a sweet looking luxury option for today’s car shoppers. 

YAA’s Take On the 2023 Cadillac Lyriq

The base spec of the Lyriq offers a whole lot for an MSRP of 60 grand. Could the Lyriq be the new anti-Tesla? Tesla may be the leader of EV sales for now, but for car buyers yearning for less minimalism, more luxury and competitive pricing, the Lyriq sure works out to a great deal. One thing the two share is that both GM and Tesla no longer qualify for the EV tax credit. Revisions to the EV tax credit are pending, but nobody really knows what the outcome will be. 

The Lyriq is looking like a great flagship for GM’s new Ultium battery and powertrain platform. An expected 300+ miles of range and rapid charging make this electric SUV competitive from day one. 

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